What Is Short Term Disability?

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Short term disability is a type of employee or group insurance coverage benefit that pays an individual a portion of her salary during an unexpected illness or injury that leaves her unable to perform her job, according to employee benefits expert Susan Nathan. Short term disability benefits are generally extended to an employee who works 30 or more hours per week.

Short term disability is usually offered by a person’s employer as a benefit of employment. In this situation, the individual purchases group coverage through her employer’s choice of insurance providers. However, California, the District of Columbia, Washington, Rhode Island, Hawaii, New Jersey and New York offer statewide short term disability programs to all qualified employees, according to Disability Lawyers. Under these plans, individuals who are too injured or too sick to work receive a portion of their salaries for varying time periods of approximately six to 30 weeks.

DisabilityLawyers.com notes that pregnancy and the delivery of a baby and a couple’s adoption of a child usually fall under state-mandated and group insurance short term disability plans. In these situations, the mother of a child uses part of the time to rest before the birth of her child and returns to work several weeks after she delivers the baby. When a couple adopts a child, both parents are generally allowed to take off of work for a pre-designated time period that is outlined under their short term disability coverage plans.